The Oil Caps started the game on a positive note but couldn’t sustain the momentum as the club dropped a 7-2 decision to the Selkirk Steelers at the MJHL Showcase in Winnipeg late Monday afternoon.
Kyle Salaway’s 16th of the year opened the scoring on the power play at the 7:04 mark to give Virden a 1-0 lead at the Bell MTS Iceplex. The Oil Caps held the lead until late in the period when the Steelers’ Skyler Thorsteinson and Nolan Ferguson netted goals at the 17:42 and 18:51 marks respectively, giving Selkirk a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes of play.
The second period was the Connor Barley show as the veteran MJHL forward showed why he is one of the league’s premier scorers, netting a natural hat-trick – his 24th, 25th and 26th of the season – helping the Steelers jump out to a 5-1 lead after 40 minutes.
William Middleton made it 6-1 at the 2:13 mark of the third before Jeran Knorr responded for the Oil Caps (his 15th of the year) at 13:33. Selkirk’s Shanan McFadden scored late to round out the scoring.
The Oil Caps outshot the Steelers 33-24, going 1-for-6 on the power play. The Steelers meanwhile, went 3-for-8 with the man advantage.
Hayden Dola stopped 31 shots to pick up the win for Selkirk as the Steelers improved to 17-11-2-1 and are now just two points back of the Oil Caps, who dropped to 19-10-1-0.
Next up for the Oil Caps: another game in Winnipeg at the MJHL Showcase on Wednesday night against the Neepawa Natives. Game time for that contest is 6 p.m.